Addiction and Divorce

Hi there,

Alcohol addiction causes a lot of divorces, and many ongoing problems during the divorce itself.  These divorces are often the saddest, because the family as a whole generally suffers more due to the dysfunction that has become normal before the non-addicted partner finally has had enough.  I’ve also noticed that occasionally, but not rarely, the divorce occurs AFTER the addicted partner has become sober.  I have theorized that the new sobriety has shifted the control issues in the marriage and one or the other is unwilling to continue in the new paradigm.

In terms of the divorce itself, one partner’s active alcoholism can make the dissolution of the marriage far more destructive than it needs to be.  Parenting issues, discovery delays and just plain reactive nastiness can increase the financial and emotional costs.

I tell all my clients to see a therapist as they undertake the divorce process.  If you are dealing with an alcoholic you should try to see a therapist who has good credentials in handling patients with substance abuse issues, as that knowledge will help you understand and survive the difficult days to come.